Address made by Mr. Adama Coulibali - launch of the joint program

Feb 9, 2015

A Congolese fisherman’s wife at Kindu (Maniema). Credit: Héloïse Vilain, UNDP, 2007

Excellency, Madam Minister of Gender, the Family and the Child,
Excellency, Madam Minister of Justice and Human Rights,
Excellencies, Sir Ministers of Health, Education, Social Affairs, Defense, Interior, Security, Decentralization and Customary Affairs,
Excellency Jean-Carol Pelletier, Ambassador to Canada
Dear members of the diplomatic Corps and of the Canadian Cooperation,
Dear colleagues of the United Nations System,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

In the name of the UNDP, I am very proud and honored to participate today in the signing ceremony that officially launches the vast joint program for the Fight Against Impunity, Support for the Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence and the Autonomization of Women to the East of the DRC.

This eighteen million dollar program, financed by Canada and expected to last for five years, seeks to contribute to the considerable reduction of sexually-motivated violence in the DRC.For many years, the UNDP ha

s directly involved itself in promoting gender equality in the DRC, fighting against and supporting the socioeconomic stabilization of female victims of gender-motivated violence. It is thanks to the historic partnerships cultivated with concerned principal ministers, notably with the Minister of Gender, the Family and the Child, and the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, and through the implementation of this new program, that the UNDP consolidates its unwavering commitment against all forms of gender- and sexually-motivated violence.

In this regard, the launch of this joint program Fight Against Impunity, Support for Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence and the Automonization of Women to the East of the DRC offers the UNDP, along with institutional and operational partners, provides the opportunity to reinforce the implementation of the national strategy against the VBSG.  This will be done while continuing the fight against injustice, be it at the level of psycho-medical support, access to justice, or socioeconomic reintegration.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This new joint program integrates lessons learned from the first generation of interventions based on the fight against sexually-motivated violence, notably, The Joint Initiative for the Prevention and Response to Sexually-Motivated Violence in the East of the DRC, similarly financed by Canada and intended to last until the end of September.

It is in this manner that the program will rely on a holistic approach that offers a number of services to victims; there will also be improved coordination for all parties so as to ensure improved, positive and structured results for all victims.

Other projects, such as the Reinforcing the Access of Women to Justice in the Kivus and in the Ituri, which are equally reliant on the UNDP’s Swedish funding, have made important progress through the use of increasingly evident mechanisms of judicial and court protection by local communities. They have also made progress through the enhancement of services offered by judicial institutions (such as judicial police, prosecutors and courts).

For example, in certain zones covered by this project, the median delay of the treatment of records on sexually-motivated violence in the preliminary phase (transfer of a case from the police to the court) has stood at approximately six days.

Amid the lessons learned from the first initiatives in the fight against sexually-motivated violence, this example has particularly stood out to us; certain forms of gender- and sexually-motivated violence will persist as long as the social standing of women does not profoundly change. In other words, the entirety of Congolese society, both women and men, must be concerned with gender equity.

This is the reason why this new joint program will provide additional resources for both prevention and sensitization. This will be accomplished through the implementation of a segmented gender strategy applied in a universal manner so as to fight against sexist stereotypes and the inequalities between men and women that prevent the equality of women in general, and more specifically the victims of violence.

But this gender equality strategy will also combine with an innovative communication strategy focused on changing behavior that will be deployed at the national level. We will provide information sessions for sensitization and through partnerships with scholarly establishments, universities, and by relying on different types of media, such as communal radios. Men as well as women will be targeted if they are leaders in any one of a variety of spheres of activity such as political, social, economic, artistic, communal, student, parents, educators, etc.

The UNDP assures the coordination of the numerous parties participating in this program by emphasizing consultation, notably between the different UN agencies (UNFPA, UNESCO, BCNUDH and the FAO). This partnership reinforces the synergy according to the principles and values of "ONE UN – ONE VOICE".

Additionally, this focus and coordination will be harmonized with the priorities of the National Strategy in the Fight against the VBSG. A common vision will be set forth and will extend to all of our partners, both institutional and operational, such that we will optimize the results of this new program.


Ladies and Gentlemen,I would like to express my admiration and my deep compassion towards the women, men, girls and young children who have been victims of all forms of violence for their courage, their resilience, and their capacity to get back up with dignity and take on new lives. Their silent strength and their determination are, for the UNDP and its partners, an immense source of inspiration and motivation in our efforts to continue the work that awaits us in the next few years.

Lastly, I would like to express my gratitude towards those men and women who have contributed towards the implementation of this vast program against gender- and sexually-motivated violence, in a climate of cooperation, mutual respect, and constructive partnership.

Thank you.

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